Virat Kohli and Co have some 'catching' up to do in vital Vizag Test
England has shown they are armed and have healthy ammunition to combat what India expectedly would throw at them in home conditions at second Test in Visakhapatnam
India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane drops England opener and captain Alastair Cook on Day One of the Rajkot Test on November 9. Pic/PTI
'I would challenge you to a battle of wits, but I see you unarmed'
The famous lines from the iconic play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.
EnglandâÂÂÂÂÂÂhas shown they are armed and have healthy ammunition to combat what India expectedly would throw at them in home conditions.
The Dr YS Rajasekhara Stadium will host its first Test match at Visakapatnam and one would expect India to command a pitch that is more conducive to their bowlers after what Rajkot had to offer.
An honest SWOT analysis and the Indian team management will know very well, that they did have their opportunities in Rajkot. Opportunities that could have changed the score line or even the result of what was an absorbing Test match.
Sadly, toss plays a role
The toss is never in control of teams but if it determines the fortunes of teams then one is playing a sport of probability and that is a huge risk. A look at what India will be looking to improve on:
Their catching on Day One in Rajkot was pretty ordinary. Five dropped catches cannot give any team a head start on the first day of a Test match.
Gautam Gambhir looks out of tempo for the moment. A break from Test cricket often does that to the best of players and Gautam is no ordinary player.
Four thousand plus runs in Test cricket is not ordinary and he knows best his problems, his challenges and how best to sort it out for his sake and the team. Two-eyed, or otherwise, the adjustments he has made must be valid and with comprehensive reasoning. The fact that he didn't stay long enough to emanate confidence was also apparent. One would still expect the team management to back him at Visakapatanam even if KL Rahul is fit.
Rahane's dismissal in both innings must have irked and hurt him.
It had more to do with a sense of conceit than a technical flaw. Cricket has a refined method of time.
Every innings is a new one and one can carry only the confidence not the runs as a suffix to ones last innings. Rahane is smart and grounded to have learnt and one expects a more fortified approach from him in this Test.
The Indian bowling, under coach Anil Kumble, will have to identify where they need to change be it lines or field placements to be able to be more pervasive as a spin attack.
Amit Mishra in particular has to make an impact to change the course of a Test and one can expect a more energetic approach from a seasoned crusader as him. At Rajkot he looked wilted and the coach and captain will have noticed that to find a remedy to the demeanour.
England are in a better space after the Dhaka demolition. They have shown ability to fight back and the last Test match has most certainly given them a sense of self belief.
They look up for a battle of attrition. Cook, Hameed, Ali, Stokes and the classy Root have shown that yesterday is history and in the moment paramount living.
The writer is a former Mumbai Ranji Trophy captain
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